Meet Amanda. She reached out to share her story of how she was accepted into PA school this year with a low GPA. This is such a common concern with Pre-PA students, and it can be done! You still have to meet the minimums and make sure your application shines in as many ways as possible, but a few bad grades (or a lot) won't completely disqualify you.
Make sure to follow Amanda as she starts PA school on Instagram by following @thisPAadventure
Undergraduate education: Central Washington University, BS: Paramedicine
Overall GPA: 3.17
Science GPA: 3.38
GRE: 309 (Verbal:157 Quantitative: 152 Writing:5)
Total HCE hours: 520 hours
Total PCE hours: 8,000+ hours (Paramedic, EMT, ER Tech)
Shadowing hours: 30 hours (Emergency and family practice)
Other volunteer hours: 215 hours (Homeless and at-risk youth)
LORs: Chief of Emergency MD, Emergency PA, Paramedic preceptor
How many times did you apply?: First time
How many programs did you apply to? 17
How many programs did you interview with and what were the outcomes? 2 interview offers, accepted after my first interview and declined the other interview. Withdrew all my other applications.
Any red flags on your application? Low GPA, academically disqualified from my first University, 7 F’s and a few W’s
Anything you found surprising about interviews? The school that I interviewed at, and was accepted to, was incredibly welcoming and made an effort to put the candidates feel at ease. I practiced hundreds of potential questions; but, when it came time for the interview, I didn’t use my rehearsed answers and just went with genuine gut feeling answers.
Were there any helpful resources (books, websites, apps) you used to get through prerequisite courses, the application or interview process? The PA Platform, YouTube, Physician Assistant Forum, Facebook groups: The Pre-PA Club and pre-pa rockstars. Book: How to “Ace” the Physician Assistant Interview, by: Andrew Rodican.
Any other advice for other pre-PA students? Don’t be discouraged if you have a LOW GPA or some bad grades. Make your application shine in other ways with stellar patient care hours or an amazing personal statement. Be true to yourself and show your passion. Remember, it only takes one!
Where can we find you? Instagram @thisPAadventure